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View Full Version : What to do without a spotter?



patience123
05-16-2006, 03:20 PM
I workout by myself so I don't have a spotter :(

Yesterday when I did bench presses, I had to use one of those barbells that are used in the aerobics class (tried to lift the regular bar.. and died after 3 reps). The problem is that I can't use enough weight for the 6 reps, because to sit up with a weight on you, so I'm afraid of getting stuck under it :lol: Any suggestions?

Also, for the squats...
With a smith machine if I get stuck and can't do the lest rep I just hook the bar onto the machine and leave it. With a bar bell I'm afraid to do enough reps and use more weight, because I have no idea what I'd do if I got stuck under it :lol: The squat rack has only one of those things that you lay the bar on for both sides.

Bleh... I hope that made sense.

strongchick
05-16-2006, 03:53 PM
Do you not have a bench press rack?

You shouldn't be squatting on the smith.

patience123
05-16-2006, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by strongchick@May 16 2006, 11:53 AM
Do you not have a bench press rack?

You shouldn't be squatting on the smith.
We have a bench press rack, but I can't lift that bar yet (too heavy for now). :(

I know I shouldn't be using the smith machine, that's why I'm asking what I should do when I get stuck under the bar in a squat rack. Ours doesn't have different levels on which you can put the bar on. You just set it at one level and that's it. Or should I just not go till exostion?

Blondell
05-16-2006, 04:28 PM
is a power cage available to you?

Gidget
05-16-2006, 04:29 PM
This is what I use:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b77/Lilgidgetgirl/Powerrack.jpg

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one). I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement. If I can't get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it. I would never squat alone without them!

mark
05-16-2006, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by patience123@May 16 2006, 09:19 AM

We have a bench press rack, but I can't lift that bar yet (too heavy for now). :(


You could always use dumbbells until you can press 20's. If you can press 20's with good form, then you could press a 45lb bar.

jrb1980
05-16-2006, 04:45 PM
I hear you on the squat issue. Yesterday I was like "ohhh... :censor: " because I almost feel over....makes me nervous and then I end up lowering the weight, even though it was the correct weight for the previous few sets.....uggh...now I am afraid. :oops:

patience123
05-16-2006, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Gidget@May 16 2006, 12:29 PM
This is what I use:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b77/Lilgidgetgirl/Powerrack.jpg

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one). I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement. If I can't get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it. I would never squat alone without them!
That's what we have too. But you see how you can choose only one level to put the bar on? Once you set it, that's it, you have to stand up to that level to put the bar on it. What if you're stuck under tha bar and can't stand up and further?

absolut_blonde
05-16-2006, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by mark+May 16 2006, 10:36 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (mark @ May 16 2006, 10:36 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-patience123@May 16 2006, 09:19 AM

We have a bench press rack, but I can&#39;t lift that bar yet (too heavy for now). :(


You could always use dumbbells until you can press 20&#39;s. If you can press 20&#39;s with good form, then you could press a 45lb bar. [/b][/quote]
That&#39;s what I did. I worked my way up to using the Olympic bar by using dumbbells first. I know they don&#39;t translate exactly, weight-wise, but Mark is right-- once I hit about 20 lbs on the dumbbells, I could manage the Olympic bar.

As for the squats, choose a weight you can handle properly. The Smith is just a crutch, IMO. Besides encouraging bad form, it doesn&#39;t make you stabilize yourself at all.

If that means doing squats with the bar only, so be it. That&#39;s where I started off. It&#39;s probably not only a weight issue, but an issue of not being used to the movement, which will improve with time.

If I recall correctly, you shouldn&#39;t be going to exhaustion anyway-- just fatigue. I&#39;m tired after my last rep but I can still re-rack the bar.

Gidget
05-16-2006, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by patience123+May 16 2006, 09:53 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (patience123 &#064; May 16 2006, 09:53 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Gidget@May 16 2006, 12:29 PM
This is what I use:

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one).* I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement.* If I can&#39;t get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it.* I would never squat alone without them&#33;
That&#39;s what we have too. But you see how you can choose only one level to put the bar on? Once you set it, that&#39;s it, you have to stand up to that level to put the bar on it. What if you&#39;re stuck under tha bar and can&#39;t stand up and further? [/b][/quote]
Then you fall back and let the bar go on the safety bars. Then crawl out from under it. The ones at the top are just to hold the bar to get it on your back. I can squat more than I can lift up that high. If you get stuck at the bottom, that&#39;s what those two horizontal bars are for. And you can adjust it to any and every height, the holes for it go from top to bottom.

absolut_blonde
05-16-2006, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by patience123+May 16 2006, 10:53 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (patience123 @ May 16 2006, 10:53 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Gidget@May 16 2006, 12:29 PM
This is what I use:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b77/Lilgidgetgirl/Powerrack.jpg

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one). I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement. If I can&#39;t get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it. I would never squat alone without them&#33;
That&#39;s what we have too. But you see how you can choose only one level to put the bar on? Once you set it, that&#39;s it, you have to stand up to that level to put the bar on it. What if you&#39;re stuck under tha bar and can&#39;t stand up and further? [/b][/quote]
Those bars at the bottom are safeties. They keep the Oly bar from going any lower than that. That way if you fail, you just set the bar down on the safeties... How would you need to stand up to set the bar on the safeties? I&#39;m confused.

patience123
05-16-2006, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by absolut_blonde+May 16 2006, 12:58 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (absolut_blonde @ May 16 2006, 12:58 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by patience123@May 16 2006, 10:53 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-Gidget@May 16 2006, 12:29 PM
This is what I use:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b77/Lilgidgetgirl/Powerrack.jpg

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one).* I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement.* If I can&#39;t get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it.* I would never squat alone without them&#33;
That&#39;s what we have too. But you see how you can choose only one level to put the bar on? Once you set it, that&#39;s it, you have to stand up to that level to put the bar on it. What if you&#39;re stuck under tha bar and can&#39;t stand up and further?
Those bars at the bottom are safeties. They keep the Oly bar from going any lower than that. That way if you fail, you just set the bar down on the safeties... How would you need to stand up to set the bar on the safeties? I&#39;m confused. [/b][/quote]
I ment squat back up high enough to be able to put the bar on the safeties. Like what do you do if you&#39;re stuck waaay at the bottom?

absolut_blonde
05-16-2006, 05:36 PM
Originally posted by patience123@May 16 2006, 11:31 AM
I ment squat back up high enough to be able to put the bar on the safeties. Like what do you do if you&#39;re stuck waaay at the bottom?
But the safeties are the black bars towards the bottom. They are safeties because you cannot go below them. They&#39;re there in case you fail.

Do you mean, if you are unable to rerack the bar to its original position? You could just set it on the safety pins and unload the plates, then put the bar back up to the starting position.

Gidget
05-16-2006, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by patience123+May 16 2006, 10:31 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (patience123 @ May 16 2006, 10:31 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by absolut_blonde@May 16 2006, 12:58 PM

Originally posted by patience123@May 16 2006, 10:53 AM
<!--QuoteBegin-Gidget@May 16 2006, 12:29 PM
This is what I use:

The bars at the bottom are adjustable (you can see they go all the way from the back support to the front one).* I put them just slightly under my lowest squat so they hinder my movement.* If I can&#39;t get back up, or if I lose my balance, I just let the bar go to the safety bars, and crawl out from under it.* I would never squat alone without them&#33;
That&#39;s what we have too. But you see how you can choose only one level to put the bar on? Once you set it, that&#39;s it, you have to stand up to that level to put the bar on it. What if you&#39;re stuck under tha bar and can&#39;t stand up and further?
Those bars at the bottom are safeties. They keep the Oly bar from going any lower than that. That way if you fail, you just set the bar down on the safeties... How would you need to stand up to set the bar on the safeties? I&#39;m confused.
I ment squat back up high enough to be able to put the bar on the safeties. Like what do you do if you&#39;re stuck waaay at the bottom? [/b][/quote]
You put the safety bars slightly below your lowest squat. I&#39;m pretty short, but I can still put the bars about an inch below my lowest squat. If I can&#39;t get back up, I just lean back a bit and the bar on my back will hit the safety bars. I let go, and crawl out of the rack.

JJ29
05-16-2006, 09:43 PM
If the 45 bar is too heavy, try using the smaller premade weights that you use for barbell curls etc. They come in 20 and 30 lb ranges usually.

nicidale
05-17-2006, 02:44 AM
Are you sure the top ones aren&#39;t adjustable. The rack at my gym has it so you can adjust both